“As an opera student at McGill University in Montreal, Mary Alouette [ALARKE] developed an interest that didn’t necessarily correspond to her studies: electronic music. It took moving to Brooklyn and embarking on a career as a gypsy jazz singer to finally bring electronica into the mix…”
– The Washington Post
New York City-based art pop and electronic dance singer, songwriter, and music producer Alarke (also known as Mary Alouette) is an uncommon display of passion and innovation at every turn. Fans describe her as “the alternative Björk” and compare her also to Lady Gaga, Lorde, and Grimes.
In a sea of pop, she stands out with her compelling twist of experiences as an international opera singer turned a gypsy jazz singer mesmerizing audiences from the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to Romani caravans in Samois sur Seine, France, to working as an audio engineer to pop artists in New York City, to performing her own original music at the Kennedy Center and Blues Alley in Washington D.C.
Most recently, Alarke served as the music director for a production of Shakespeare's The Tempest at the Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece, alongside a cast and crew of established Broadway, film, and t.v. talent and crew with the Campfire Project under the humanitarian aid organization I Am You.
Before that, she created a month-long artist retreat in Havana, Cuba to study & compose music, paint, write, and record her fifth original album, Cuba Diaries. There, she also collaborated on an album with Cuban hip hop artists and performed at Havana’s premier cultural venue, Fabrica de Arte. Her artistry and songwriting workshops have won her an Artist-in-Residence position at the Music Center at Strathmore in 2012, a songwriting workshop platform with Washington Performing Arts (2015-2016), and a SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence position 2017 with the Brooklyn Arts Council. She is a graduate of the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she studied classical voice and digital composition.
Her debut self-released EP Midas (2012) received critical acclaim, landing her New Artist of the Year and Best Debut Album with the Washington Area Music Association. Her song “O, Be I Your Bluebird” placed as a finalist in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Competition.
The Lark (EP), released in 2013, won her the Grand Prize in the Professional Artist Support System Songwriting Competition with the Washington Area Music Association for her song, “Lionheart.”
2016 was very successful year for Alarke as she released her third album, Grace, that has influences of electronic pop, classical music, and Gypsy jazz. She also released a fourth EP, a tropical electronic collaborative project called Elkin + Alarke with producer Elkin Pautt. Elkin + Alarke combines Colombian and world music flavors with electronic dance beats reminiscent of the band Little Dragon.
Alarke has performed under the names Alarke and Mary Alouette at venues including the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Plaza; the Kennedy Center for her own original music, as well as with the Washington Opera, the National Symphony Orchestra; Blues Alley; the U.S. National Mall 4th of July Celebration, Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic, and has composed two live film scores at Nitehawk Cinema in New York City. She sang the National Anthem for the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball teams and DC United Major League Soccer team over two dozen times. Her opera singing brought her to perform at American Institute for Musical Studies in Austria and the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy, and her Gypsy jazz singing led her to perform with Stochelo Rosenberg and Stephane Wrembel. She also featured as a lead voiceover role for the Wii video game “Boogie Superstar” by Electronic Arts (EA Games).
Past venues include the Rainbow Room at the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the SixtyFive Bar at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, CMJ, Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival, Artisphere, Babycastles, Blues Alley, Cherry Blast Festival, Glasslands, Grey Lady, Manhattan Inn, Le Quecumbar, Rockwood, Sofar Sounds, the Music Center and the Mansion at Strathmore, & live film scoring at Nitehawk Cinema.
“Alarke’s performances draw you in with their soft, hypnotic qualities, turning each song into a dialogue between her and the audience.” – Brooklyn Exposed
“I suppose now that technology is so portable, it was only a matter of time until someone tried incorporating electronic elements into gypsy jazz. But that’s not everything Mary Alouette does. With a voice that sounds wild but always in control, this ex-opera student’s sound is too multifaceted to be pigeonholed in a few sentences. Gypsy/Jazz influences intersect with old style French ballads and wicked trip hop/ambient tracks – and sometimes all these ingredients get mixed together.” – The Deli Magazine NYC
“Ms. Alouette’s current musical incarnation, The Lark, is a mix of traditional gypsy jazz with hip-hop and trap beats.” – NY Observer
“As an opera student at McGill University in Montreal, Mary Alouette developed an interest that didn’t necessarily correspond to her studies: electronic music. It took moving to Brooklyn and embarking on a career as a gypsy jazz singer to finally bring electronica into the mix in the form of a new EP, The Lark.” – The Washington Post
“Notes of Portishead’s music and James Bond’s adventurous approach to life are delightfully represented.” – The Examiner
“The [Angel] track is a trip hoppy number, landing somewhere between Tricky’s intense musical whiffs and some kind of new-age-that-doesn’t-suck placidity. A song about a good, but also weird, trip in the tub, nothing sounds better than that right now…” – The Deli Magazine NYC
“Unique blend of gypsy jazz and electronic music.“ – DCist
“Echoes the likes of Billie Holiday” – Baltimore Magazine
“Alouette has all the best qualities — original songwriting, respectful nods to traditional sounds and an effervescent stage presence.” – Cathy Fink, GRAMMY Award winner
“Mary Alouette mixes a bit of ambient with a lot of vocal harmonies in this chilled down trip called ‘Angel’, which also sports paint, glitter and a fantastic ending.” – Orestes P. Xistos, Sloucher.org
“[The Lark] is one of those rare records you only get the chance to hear few times. It’s one of those albums hard to review because [of] how original and unique it is … people like me take so many minutes in looking for great adjectives to describe [it].” – Vents Magazine
“Her vocals adapt to both traditional and modern sounds. She can project power with her opera-trained voice, and also express vulnerability on stories of love and loss. She exudes a sense of mystery, whether she is singing her own complex lyrics or a cabaret song in French.” – Allentown Morning Call
“The Lark is not your typical jazz album… its funky and fresh sound coincides flawlessly with Alouette’s vocals. It is an EP worth listening to and peaks your interest to follow Alouette’s musical work.” – The Celebrity Cafe